Laura Curran

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Former LI Congressman Leads Task Force To Help Furloughed Workers

January 25, 2019 - 3:53 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A former Long Island congressman is leading a task force to help consolidate services to help federal workers affected by the government shutdown.

County executives in both Nassau and Suffolk called the 35-day partial government shutdown a “superstorm.” Many were unprepared for the government to last as long as it did and hundreds of furloughed federal workers on Long Island were left without pay for four weeks.

While President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders did reach an agreement to reopen the federal government on Friday, former congressman Steve Israel will continue working to create a safety net to help federal workers during future shutdowns.

“We're going to bring to the table a vast array of not-for-profits,” Israel said. “Right now everybody wants to do something, the problem is that not everybody knows what everybody else is doing.”

He says that during the shutdown on Long Island, communities pooled together to host gift card drives and donate money and food to local food pantries to assist furloughed workers.

“We want to make sure that there's a central clearinghouse for all of that, so people know what is available and where to find that help,” Israel said.

The task force will be in charge of creating a catalog of resources for federal workers to access during shutdowns.